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Council leader visits funding beneficiaries

05 March 2015

Portsmouth City Council leader and Solent LEP board director Donna Jones has visited beneficiaries of the Solent LEP’s (Local Enterprise Partnership) Bridging the Gap fund on Wednesday afternoon (4 March), following the news that a further £12m has been allocated for the area from the Government’s Local Growth Deal.

Since its first round, Bridging the Gap has proved to be an extremely popular programme for local business and has supported 102 projects to date, with over £3.6m invested in Solent companies. The funding will also help to create and safeguard over 600 jobs.

Cllr Jones visited three Portsmouth and Southsea-based businesses to see how the funding has been put to good use so far.

  • Pie & Vinyl, an independent record shop and pie and mash emporium located in Southsea, put the funding to use for the purchase and associated renovation costs of its adjoining premises. 
  • Elite Care Services, which supplies care staff, qualified nurses and domestic staff to establishments used the funding to establish a new premises with a dedicated training room.
  • Victory Repro, a start-up which produces flexographic printing plates for the food packaging industry, used the funding to invest in new printing equipment.

In total, 22 jobs have been created or safeguarded by the three companies, which all applied for Bridgng the Gap funding through the Solent LEP.

Cllr Jones said:

"I was pleased to meet business owners across the city today who have benefited from the Bridging the Gap fund, managed by the Solent LEP. Through this fund they have been able to safeguard existing positions and create new jobs. Small businesses are vital to the Solent's economy and it was great to have seen these local success stories first-hand. It’s great news for the Solent that new funding will be available to support small businesses and I can’t wait to see all the success stories to come from it."

Under the latest round of the Local Growth Deal, £12m has been allocated to create a new Solent Growth Fund to assist entrepreneurs in starting up new businesses and existing businesses to grow.

The Solent LEP is holding a business support day for companies who are interested in applying for Bridging the Gap funding or the new Solent Growth Fund on 20 March in Portsmouth. To book a place emailevents@solentlep.org.uk by 13 March with your name, title and organisation. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with a maximum of two places per organisation.

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